• End of the Powerline

    With the Schiavo memos proven to be from a Republican source and Powerline not apologizing for their truthless innuendo and slander, it's time to break out the popcorn and see if Big Trunk and Hindrocket can clear the shark. Odds are on massive carnage, but they might just end up laughing stocks. For that, see August Pollack on "Powerline-was-completely-fucking-wrong-gate" (Best. Gate. Ever.). It's not just that they have no shame, it's that they once met shame on a street, beat the shit out of him, rolled him up in a carpet, and threw him off a bridge. And don't even ask me about the nightmare they put truth through. To paraphrase Marv in Sin City, after what they did to poor honesty, hell must have seemed like heaven. Powerline, we must begin to understand, has no fucking idea what they're talking about at any given moment. Once upon a time, some GOP operative sent by the Ghost of Nixon got something right for them in the Free Republic comments section, and ever since then the homo-...
  • Money Money Money Mooooney...Money!

    Looking at the latest DeLay scandals in the continuing excavation of DeLay's immorality, Hilzoy writes : Why can't these people just live on their salaries? Tom DeLay has an answer : “I challenge anyone to live on my salary.” Reportedly, when he said that, his salary was $158,000 a year. Despite the obvious fantasy world DeLay lives in, we might want to take his point more seriously. $158,000 is a lot of money, bit it's not that much money. Particularly not when you live in DC and your home district, when you fly back and forth constantly, and when all your friends are lobbyists and lawyers who live like kings. To put it another way, it's a Passat salary in a Beamer world. Now don't get me wrong, $160,000 is plenty of cash, but considering the rarified realm of sycophants and rich kids inhabited by our congressmen, it's not all that surprising that they let themselves be bought dinners, be flown places, be done favors. Most of these guys are lawyers, doctors, businessmen -- folks with...
  • What've You Done to My Government?

    Pelosi's really on the right track here (See Matt ? I show the love). If Bush is denying the legitimacy of US Treasury Bonds, then that, not Social Security, is the real issue here. What's happened that America cannot pay back its debts? If our situation was truly so dire, shouldn't our president have known that and not pushed for deficit-worsening tax cuts or Medicare expansions? If we can't pay for the trust fund, can we pay the Chinese? Is there any chance they'd try to extract payment militarily? What about corporate investors? What about individual investors? Exactly who are we going to stiff? And if we're not going to welch to any of those investors, why are we not paying the trust fund back? Bush is like a kid with a mouth full of crumbs and a stomach ache who, when caught putting the lid on the cookie jar, turns and says "Cookies? We didn't have any cookies." This is either his fault or it's not happening. If Democrats are smart, Republicans will rue the day they adopted this...
  • Oh That Liberal Media

    Yahoo News has an AP headline entitled " French Secularists Criticize Pope Observance ". Wow. I mean, really, wow. From O'Reilly's mouth to their ears.
  • Passing Hubbert's Peak

    This is scary -- oil production in most on the non-OPEC nations is already in accelerating decline, and OPEC looks to be nearing it's maximum. Ouch. So, by the way, is this Rolling Stone excerpt from the The Long Emergency that's been flitting through the blogosphere. Hell, that one's not scary, it's totally terrifying. It also strikes me as a bit alarmist. The author isn't an energy expert, he's a professional author who used to be a staff writer at Rolling Stone. And while that doesn't mean he's wrong, the difference between his apocalyptic vision and the more moderate (though still nasty) collapse scenarios envisioned by energy experts leaves me a tad skeptical. I'm trying to get some of those said experts to drop a guest-post evaluating The Long Emergency for us, so, in true Marshallian fashion, more later. But whether the future looks hellish or merely dangerous, energy is obviously getting more important and fast. To that end, I'm adding an "Energy" category to the blogroll and...
  • Get a Job

    From here on out, I'll be doing a biweekly column for the folks at Campus Progress called "Get a Job". The idea came from all of you who e-mail me wondering how to break into writing/think tanks/government/etc. The way it'll work, basically, is that I'll interview and profile cool young progressives in good jobs so you can see how they got there, and maybe figure out how to follow along. First one's up today, and it focuses on Matt Yglesias. I'm still kinking out the style, so don't be too harsh in the eval. But go read it anyway.
  • Think Big

    Matt's right . The DeLay scandals are cresting too quick, little would be worse than watching the right sacrifice their figurehead, install Roy Blunt Jr., and move forward untainted by ethical issues. On the other hand, I'm not sure this is in the power of "liberal advocacy groups" anymore -- the press smells the blood and I get the feeling that they're circling on their own, no one's having to herd them. The only thing liberal groups can do now is try and widen the attack, to demand that the press pay attention to the larger issues of Republican corruption and pay-to-play ethos. This moment is as good as it gets, with the press already nailing Delay for transgressions, they're as likely as they'll ever be to pick up on stories implicating the whole caucus and it's way of doing business. The front room lobbyists, the corporate cronyism, the breathtaking shamelessness with which industry shills form legislation -- those are the real scandals, it's not just one bad apple, it's a caucus...
  • Blair

    I agree with basically all of this . And it's one of the things I find most galling about Blair's support for Bush, and Bush's complete unwillingness to moderate key policies to help Blair. Tony has been one of the left's brighter lights in recent years, leading a resurgence of Labour and creating a clear and compelling model for liberals. And then he went and threw it away on our unconcerned leader and his incompetent and immoral wars. Now, with election coming, he's battered and bloodied because he tried to be a liberal hawk in a neocon war and got burned for it, and so, I fear, will the left. Now, I've no reason to believe that Blair's support for Iraq was anything but sincere. Some backed the war on gut, anti-tyranny grounds, and right or wrong, their convictions led them. Blair seems to be one of these. But he's destroying his government and derailing his agenda by refusing to admit the mistake, and he's isolating himself from ideological allies by allowing the Iraq War to define...
  • What's in the Water?

    Saul Bellow has died . Just a day or two after Prince Rainier of Monaco. Who passed just after the Pope. Who faded right after Terry Schiavo, whose feeding tube was pulled not long after a host of other luminaries and bright lights were extinguished. Maybe it's just me, but I can't remember so much death dotting the news ever before. I can't pull up the morning papers without seeing the Arthur Miller or Susan Sontag or Ronald Reagan have passed on. It's unbelievable. Why all the death?
  • A Bit More on Taxes

    Kevin and Duncan * both point out that the VAT (see post below) is somewhat regressive. True 'nuff. So why do it? Mostly because it's safer than the alternatives. Reasoning below the fold.